Portman launches fight against EPA coal regulations
by By Frank Lewis
PDT Staff Writer
Eighty percent of Ohio’s energy comes from coal, which has led to a response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rules by U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
“When President Obama launched his one-size-fits-all energy plan last summer, I implored him not to expand EPA’s regulatory overreach, which has already cost jobs in Ohio. Unfortunately, today we learned that he has chosen to accelerate his top-down government mandate, ignoring the pleas of Ohio businesses, manufacturers, and consumers who will be forced to pay the price of his costly proposed standards for new power plants,” Portman said. “Long-term, these EPA regulations will cost Ohio jobs and hurt consumers. The President sets a dangerous precedent by requiring new power plants to integrate specific technologies that are not yet and may never be commercially viable. If the President follows a similar model for his proposed regulations on existing power plants, that is due out later this year, energy costs for Ohioans could skyrocket, given that over 80 percent of Ohio’s electricity comes from coal generation.”
The proposal would help reshape where Americans get electricity, away from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by cleaner sources of energy as a part of Obama’s global warming plans.
The move has not been well-received by those in the electrical industry and congressional Republicans because the new standards will require companies to install expensive technology which is designed to catch carbon dioxide and bury it underground, which has not been done by any coal-fired plant, mainly because of the cost.
“Rather than unilaterally establishing burdensome regulations on the backs of Ohio’s coal miners, the President should work with Congress to promote a consensus based energy plan that utilizes all of the abundant domestic resources at our disposal — including coal, natural gas, nuclear, energy efficiency, and renewable resources — to lower energy costs and ensure we have access to reliable, affordable, and cleaner domestic energy,” Portman said. “In addition, I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to find a path forward to get my bipartisan energy efficiency legislation over the finish line. It’s good for business, good for the environment, good for the economy, and good for Ohio taxpayers.”
Nationally, coal accounts for 40 percent of U.S. electricity. Earlier this year, Portman introduced the bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act of 2013 which he says would reform the current rule-making process to lower the costs and improve the quality of new regulations.
“Through stronger cost-benefit analysis and greater transparency, Ohio businesses will be less likely to suffer under the increasing burden and uncertainty of government red tape,” Portman said.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.
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